luang prabang laos monks cultural tour

Monks, Luang Prabang, Laos

Monks rise early to make their morning procession through Luang Prabang’s temples to receive alms. Our cultural journey across Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia begins in Luang Prabang, a World Heritage Site of gilded temples.

Photo by Brian McGilloway

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An Extraordinary Cultural Journey to Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia

Indochine route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5895  
Length: 16 days
Arrive: Luang Prabang, Laos
Depart: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Lodging: 14 nights deluxe hotels, 1 night aboard private traditional junk
Meals: All meals included except 4 dinners and 1 lunch
Activity: Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Overland travel with walking tours, cultural explorations


  • Luang Prabang, an ancient town of temples at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers
  • Hanoi, “Paris of the Orient,” magical Halong Bay, charming Hoi An, historic Hue
  • Angkor Wat, one of the world’s most phenomenal architectural achievements

This was my second time on this trip, and I found it as enchanting as the first time.Judith M.—Albuquerque NM

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

The intriguing lands of Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia offer a world of enchantment, with their traditional cultures, landscapes of great beauty, elegant architecture, and mouth-watering cuisines. We’ve created a journey that deeply immerses you into this engaging realm, from its vast cultural treasures to the vibrancy of modern-day life. We discover irresistible settings like Luang Prabang in the heart of the old Lao kingdom, breathtaking Halong Bay, where we overnight aboard a private junk amid emerald waters and dramatic rock formations, and Hoi An, Vietnam’s beautiful 17th century trading port, now a World Heritage Site. Our grand finale is at dazzling Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s surreal jungle-shrouded city of temples lost in time.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Luang Prabang, Laos

In Luang Prabang, a regal town of gilded temples, we stroll atmospheric streets, visit 15th century shrines, boat up the Mekong River to the Buddhist caves at Pak Ou, and explore Hmong and Khamu hilltribe villages. We also climb Phu Si Hill for fine views over the town and the Mekong River at sunset.

Days 4-6
Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi is graced by many parks and lakes, and the Old Quarter still features magnificent French colonial architecture. We explore the back streets of the Old Quarter by bicycle rickshaw, visit the Confucian Temple of Literature, enjoy a lunch of cha ca, Hanoi’s famous fish and noodle specialty, and take in the excellent Museum of Ethnology, designed with the help of the Musée de l’Homme in Paris.

Day 7
Halong Bay

A World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is a magical realm of limestone islands set amid a jade-green sea. Our overnight aboard our private junk is a unique opportunity to capture the evening and early morning vistas in this magnificent setting, with visits to stunning rock formations, lagoons, and beautifully illuminated caves.

Days 8-9
Hoi An

A picturesque riverside town, Hoi An is one of Asia’s most enchanting places with a real sense of history on its streets. Known as Faifo to early European traders, it developed into a major international trading port between the 15th and 19th centuries and many splendid buildings still remain. In this lovely town, our explorations include the old Japanese Covered Bridge and the lively market where fishermen bring in their catch.

Days 10-12
Hue / Saigon

Hue, Vietnam’s ancient cultural capital, was Vietnam’s political capital from 1802 to 1945 under the reign of 13 emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. We visit the majestic royal tombs of the Nguyen emperors and explore their imperial citadel. Flying to Saigon, our explorations include the historic Reunification Palace (formally the Presidential Palace of South Vietnam), with its ornate chambers.

Days 13-16
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is a lasting monument to the glory of a bygone Khmer civilization and one of the wonders of the world. Built between the 9th and 13th centuries to glorify a succession of Khmer kings. We explore a vast a vast complex of extraordinary temple architecture, then depart from Siem Reap on Day 16.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

The trip is Level 1+, or Easiest. It is an overland cultural adventure, and for the most part, physical activity is light but we still encourage participants to get in shape for the trip because travel to remote places does require some physical stamina. We ask that you make a special effort to bring flexibility and a spirit of adventure to this unique journey.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Nov 1-16, 2014  Mathew Smith
Dec 20, 2014-Jan 4, 2015  Andrew Forbes
Jan 8-23, 2015  Andrew Forbes
Feb 7-22, 2015  David Henley

Special The Arc of the Sacred Symposium departure! Call for a separate itinerary.
Jan 25-Feb 6, 2015

Trip Cost

Prices valid through Spring 2015
$5895 (15-16 members)
$6195 (11-14 members)
$6495 (8-10 members)
Single supplement: $1295
Forced single supplement: $1295
Internal airfare: $790 (subject to change)
Holiday surcharge (Dec. 20): $260
more on pricing

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations
  • All meals included except 4 dinners and 1 lunch
  • Sightseeing as noted with entrance fees to sites and museums
  • Surface transportation in buses or vans
  • Land transportation, airport transfers for all passengers, and baggage handling

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, internal airfare/taxes within Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, beverages at group meals, international airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, hotels en route to/from Asia and any additional hotel nights that may be necessary due to airline schedule changes or other factors, pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: None
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*INTERNAL AIRFARE: Special Ticketing and Change/Cancellation Fees
In order to secure your seats on Internal Air flights, Wilderness Travel must request and confirm your tickets as soon as you sign up on the trip. Payment for Internal Air will be collected from each trip member at the time of reservation. Once issued, internal air tickets are subject to a $100 per person fee for any changes or cancellation until 60 days prior to the trip. Within 60 days of the trip, all tickets are non-refundable. The name on your tickets must match your passport exactly, and any name changes are subject to these same fees. We therefore request that you send us a scanned copy of your passport photo page immediately upon reserving your trip. Internal Air payments and cancellation fees are in addition to Trip Cost payments and cancellation fees as noted above.

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Villa Santi Hotel

Villa Santi Hotel

Days 1 to 3 (3 nights), Luang Prabang, Laos

A charming boutique hotel, the Villa Santi is a former royal residence situated in the heart of the old historic town, just steps from the temples ...
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Hanoi Opera Hilton Hotel

Hanoi Opera Hilton Hotel

Days 4 to 6 (3 nights), Hanoi, Vietnam

This landmark hotel is located adjacent to the Parisian-style Opera House in the heart of Hanoi’s elegant French Quarter and just steps from ...
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Private Junk

Private Junk

Day 7 (1 night), Halong Bay, Vietnam

Overnighting aboard a private junk in a secluded cove of Halong Bay is a unique opportunity to capture the evening and early morning vistas of this ...
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Hotel in Hoi An

Days 8 to 9 (2 nights), Hoi An, Vietnam

In Hoi An, we stay at one of the following properties:

La Residence Hotel & Spa

La Residence Hotel & Spa

Days 10 to 11 (2 nights), Hue, Vietnam

Located on the Perfume River near the center of Hue, the La Residence Hotel & Spa is a former governor’s residence renovated into a ...
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Caravelle Hotel

Caravelle Hotel

Day 12 (1 night), Saigon, Vietnam

The chic Caravelle is situated adjacent to the French Colonial Opera House in Saigon’s downtown. Many luminaries have stayed here, including ...
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Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Resort

Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Resort

Days 13 to 15 (3 nights), Siem Reap, Cambodia

Set among lovely gardens and ponds, the Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Resort will feel like an oasis of serenity after a full day exploring the temples ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Andrew Forbes

Departure Dates: December 20, 2014-January 4, 2015, January 8-23, 2015

Andrew Forbes, PhD, from Great Britain, taught Asian history at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland until 1990, when he moved to Southeast Asia to make writing a full-time career. He lives in Chiang Mai in north Thailand with his Thai wife and writes travel books and political and cultural ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

David Henley

Departure Dates: February 7-22, 2015

David Henley was born and raised in England, where he studied as a commercial photographer before embarking on an extended adventure throughout Asia. He eventually settled in Chiang Mai, where he has been living for over 25 years, and he is married with two children. David’s passion remains ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Mathew Smith

Departure Dates: November 1-16, 2014

Mathew Smith, a former language teacher from the UK, went to Thailand to teach in 1987, fell in love with Southeast Asia, and met his future wife. He now lives in Chiang Mai with his wife and daughter. Fluent in Thai, Mathew is loved by trip members for his extraordinary knowledge of Southeast ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:


Burma Extension

Yangon and Bagan

Cultural Adventures
6 days  -  Level 2


Burma Extension

Yangon and Bagan

Cultural Adventures
6 days  -  Level 2


wat arun bangkok thailand

Bangkok Extension

Discover the Beautiful Cultural Monuments of Bangkok

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1

Chiang Mai Extension

Explore the Wonders of Northern Thailand

Cultural Adventures, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 2

Phuket Extension

Explore a Jewel Set in the Andaman Sea

Cultural Adventures, Sea Kayaking
4 days  -  Level 2

Client Comments

This was my second time on this trip, and I found it as enchanting as the first time. Judith M., Albuquerque NM We were taught so much beyond the usual viewpoint given to a tourist that I felt I had a much deeper understanding of the culture and history than I would have if traveling with a different company. Charlene H., Palm Springs CA This was an adventure that my husband and I will long remember. Thanks to WT for yet another outstanding trip. You really know how to run a good trip. Essie H., Santa Monica, CA Our Trip Leader was outstanding. His extensive knowledge, charm, patience, and delightful sense of humor made for a memorable trip. Anne W., Riverside, CT A great way to see three countries in 2.5 weeks. Very enjoyable and educational. Joseph L., Acampo, CA Everything was great about this trip from start to finish. Tish P., Ashland, OR The trip was wonderful. I am impressed not only with the itinerary, hotels, and food, but also with how smoothly the trip runs. Robert B., Berkeley, CA
This was a very memorable experience. The logistics were absolutely seamless and we learned a great deal. Alan W., Bedford, MA Experiencing different cultures; viewing beautiful scenery within the cities and in rural areas; learning Indochine's incredible contempary and ancient histories; and meeting its beautiful people made this trip extraordinary. Every day brought unique experiences. My world view has been profoundly changed by the experience. Marjo K., Bend, OR We had many wonderful experiences during this trip! Each country had its own special events that helped us better understand its people and the ways they live. As we learned more, we developed increasing respect, knowing about the glories of their pasts and their visions for the future. Linda L., San Antonio, TX

Sharing Indochine with Andrew was a gift. His extraordinary breadth of knowledge and experience in the area made it all come alive. It was a magnificent adventure that taught me so much about the cultures and history, far more than I could have imagined.

Jane S., Santa Fe, NM